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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #538 (Vol. 11, No. 29). This edition is for the week of July 12--18, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"Inception"  by Mike Smith
Gamera Vs. Barugon (1966)  by ED Tucker
Summer Memories: Sylvan Beach Amusement Park  by Chris Woods
Fuji Sushi  by Jason Fetters
Passing On .... Please Stick Hot Needles Into My Eyes .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

Warner Brothers     
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 28 mins

If you asked me to name the top 10 directors working today, I’m sure you’d recognize many of the names on my list. Spielberg. Scorsese. Eastwood. And one you might not: Christopher Nolan. Creator of “Memento” and director of one of the best comic book films ever, “The Dark Knight,” Nolan has proved himself to be an effective filmmaker, able to draw his audience into his films like a spider with a fly. His latest endeavor, “Inception,” is no “Dark Knight”…but it ain’t bad!

Cobb (DiCaprio) is an Interceptor. He and his team are able to read your mind…literally. They get you when you’re sleeping, actually entering and manipulating your dreams. Once inside your head they learn your every thought. Your every secret. Your every idea. A new client has a unique request. He wants Cobb and his people to “put” an idea into someone. A tough request.

Visually brilliant “Inception” suffers from the same ailment that has afflicted other films this year: it’s TOO LONG! Like the last film in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, you never know when the film is over. Thank goodness for the closing credits. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that for a majority of the almost two and a half hours spent in the dark “Inception” grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go! Of course the credit for this praise falls directly on Nolan, who not only directed the film but wrote it as well. Like “Memento,” “Inception” relies on the audience paying attention to everything, no matter how small the detail. The script is strong, with just the right amount of humor thrown in to give the adrenaline running through your body time to pause. The visual effects are outstanding, including a fight scene that rivals any ever put on film. The performances are just as outstanding, with fine supporting work from Gordon-Levitt, Page, Tom Hardy and Ken Watanabe. Oscar winner Marion Cotillard shines as someone from Cobbs’ past while Lukas Haas, Pete Postlethwaite and Michael Caine stand out in extended cameos. But the glue holding it all together is DiCaprio, who I praised earlier this year by calling his work in “Shutter Island” the “performance of his career.” Allow me to welcome you to outstanding performance #2. If DiCaprio, who already has three acting Oscar nominations to his credit, isn’t nominated for one of these films then there truly is no justice in Hollywood. Were the film able to wrap itself up thirty minutes sooner, that extra half star may have made an appearance. According to the film, five minutes of actual time equals one hour in “dream land.” The last half hour of the film more than proves that notion.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “Inception”  

To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. This week's movie review of "Inception" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.